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On a dry griddle or in a dry skillet, toast chile peppers over medium-high heat for about 1 minute or until fragrant, turning frequently. Remove and discard stems and seeds; place chiles in a large bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain well, reserving liquid.
In a blender or food processor, combine the drained chiles, vinegar, sugar, salt, oregano, peppercorns, cloves and cumin seeds. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Remove 1/2 cup of the sieved mixture; chill until needed in Step 4.
Place lamb roast in a large sealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Spread the remaining sieved mixture over all sides of the roast. Seal bag and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In an ovenproof 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven, combine 1/2 cup onion, the garlic, bay leaves and the chilled 1/2 cup sieved mixture. Place a rack or steamer insert in the pot and add enough water to fill the bottom of the pot, making sure the water does not touch the rack. Place the roast on the rack. Bring water to a boil. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart; add additional water as needed during baking.
Remove the roast from the pot. Remove meat from bones. Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds. Discard bay leaves. Strain fat from cooking juices. If needed, add enough water to the cooking juices to make 2 cups total liquid. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooking juices and tomatoes. Cover and blend or process until smooth. If necessary, reheat tomato mixture in a saucepan.
Divide shredded meat among six individual serving bowls. Top with tomato mixture and, if desired, white onion and cilantro. If desired, serve with tortillas and lime wedges.